How Venice High Athletes Stay in Shape During the Pandemic


Isaac Ng, Xitlaly Rojas, and Johanna Zamora

Reading Time: 2 minutes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Venice High athletes have been doing individual and group workouts to stay fit given school closures and the suspension of fall sports. 

A renewed schedule for Venice High sports has been released, but it would only take effect if the district officially clears all students to return to school. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is motivating teams to come back even stronger than before, including the boys’ volleyball team. They’re coming off an excellent 10-2 season and ranked seventh in Division 1. 

“I wake up every day at 6:30 a.m. to work out with my former teammates,” said senior Diego Uribe, a captain. “We warm up with 20 burpees and then get into whatever workouts they have planned for the day.” 

Uribe has also been working out with the team over Zoom meetings and stopping by club practices to work on his craft and refine his volleyball skills. He and his friends have also gone to the beach several times and set up their own nets to play doubles or two-on-two volleyball. 

Members of cross country are focusing on long steady distance training and maintaining mileage, said senior Juan Hernandez, a captain. 

“For the boys, good mileage would be five to six miles daily, and for the girls, four to five miles would be ideal, but it depends on the person’s abilities,” he said.

Given COVID-19, then what runners to do if they aren’t allowed to run outside?

“We still find our ways to get our cardio in,” said senior Angelica Rodas, another captain. “It can be from doing high knees, butt kicks or even stationary cycles.” 

Despite the lack of contact as a team, the football team has been finding a way to carry on and prepare for the upcoming season, said senior Jonathan Tejada. 

Since direct contact is such a huge part of football—from tackling to touching the ball itself— working individually strictly requires motivation and discipline.

“I’m currently spending about one to two hours during the weekend on foot speed drills as my conditioning,” said senior Jonathan Tejada. “Usually I start with twelve-step sprints continuously for about 12 times, then I’ll attach a parachute on me and sprint with it six times up and down the field by my local park, along with lifting weights to maintain and build strength.” 

Staying fit isn’t just about doing vigorous exercises. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and having fun with your workouts are also very crucial to the process.

“Trust the process and be patient with it,” Tejada said. “I promise that if you keep working hard, day after day, all that hard work will pay off.”

Cross country coach Ivan Gomez gave some words of encouragement and stressed the importance of his runners staying in shape. 

“During these times, we coaches have been keeping our runners mentally fresh and motivated so that when we begin training, they are ready to put in hard work,” Gomez said. “We have many goals that we look forward to achieving this season, so we need all of our runners to come back fresh and fully ready to go.” 

With many facilities across the city closed, however, it’s much less convenient for athletes to work out and condition. For some, staying focused and motivated can also be difficult.

“It’s been very hard to stay motivated,” said senior Kaleb Macias, a runner on the cross country. “Before workouts, I’ll watch motivational videos.”

Also knowing that if one of Macias’ teammates is out there on a run motivates him, too.